The last three days, I spent quite some quality time with 20 PhD students at the University of Barcelona, sharing knowledge and experiences about ecology data analyses using R statistical software. It was a great initiative that came from themselves, and, maybe by coincidence, it became a tribute to Ramón Margalef, to whom different events were being celebrated on the 10th anniversary of his death.
It was really a pleasure to discover a very diverse and, at the same time, united group of motivated researchers under the same roof in such a prestigious Institution. Like it said, institutions are made from people and not facilities. And this is a great example.
We shared how to perform effectively and statistically accurate hypothesis testing to experimental data, apply multivariate analysis to ecological information and the most funny and effective way to model a complex reality. But most of all, experiences and opinions about science and research, which are disconnected more often than it should be expected.
I enjoyed once again, how statistics can join together so many different main-sets and fields of expertise under a common goal: understand nature and protect the resources of the Earth. Behind nerdy words and mathematical applications, they are searching for a balance between their passion and their needs as scientist in an increasing technological world overloaded with information. They all have my respect and my availability for whatever small piece of my modest contribution may need.
I hope we will be able to meet again ... at your place or at mine?